Ram Singh Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh
 INSC 358 (19 December 1961)
DAYAL, RAGHUBAR DAS, S.K.
CITATION: 1967 AIR 152 1962 SCR (2) 203
The appellant was tried for murder. The facts
established were that there were quarrels between the appellant and the
deceased over the purchase of a cycle and in a play of cards that the appellant
had purchased a sword a day earlier and that he had deposited the sword stained
with human blood at the police station shortly after the murder. Evidence was
also led of an extra-judicial confession made by the appellant to one U but the
High Court did not place reliance on it as it did not feel sure of it though it
observed that a perusal of the statement of U showed that it was very likely
that what he stated may have happened.
^ Held, that the statement of U regarding the
extra-judicial confession was erroneously rejected by the High Court.
Extra-judicial confessions were not usually considered with favour but such a
confession coming from a person who had no reason to state falsely and to whom
it was made in circumstances which tended to support his statement could be
relied upon. The extra-judicial confession in the present case was supported by
the facts established, and these together fully established the guilt of the
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Criminal
Appeal 89 of 1961.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
order dated December 8, 1960, of the Allahabad High Court in Criminal Appeal
No. 1782 of 60 and Referred No. 125 of 1960, S. K. Kapur, for the appellant, G.
C. Mathur and C. P. Lal, for the respondent.
1961. December 19.-The Judgment of the Court
was delivered by RAGUHBAR DAYAL, J.-Ram Singh appeals, by special leave,
against the order of the Allahabad High Court dismissing his appeal and
confirming 204 his conviction and sentence of death, under s. 302, I.P.C., by
the Session Judge, Etawah.
The prosecution case, in brief, is that due
to enmity, the appellant caused injuries to Sheo Sahai, who was sleeping in his
cattle shed in village Bhadurpur Ghar, with a sword at about mid- night on the
night between June 14-15, 1960. Sheo Sahai died of the injuries received. The appellant
thereafter proceeded to the Canal Distributory at some distance from the
village and had a bath there. Later on, he went to the Police Station, Ekdil,
nine miles away and lodged a report. He delivered the sword which has been
found by the Serologist to be stained with human blood. The appellant was taken
in custody and as a result of the investigation was sent up for trial, The
appellant denied the allegation that he had caused the death of Sheo Sahai and
alleged that he was falsely accused of the offence. He also denied the other
allegations for the prosecution. He alleged that one Paley Singh informed him
about the murder of Sheo Sahai and asked him to go to the Police Station,
Ekdil, and to inform the Station Officer orally about the murder. He did
accordingly. He was detained at the Police Station till 11 a.m., the next day
and was then put up in the lock up. The Sub-Inspector took his thumb impression
forcibly on three papers, but did not tell him the reason. The appellant
adduced no evidence in support of his statement. The Courts below rightly did
not accept his version.
The evidence led by the prosecution consisted
of the evidence relating to motive, to his extrajudicial confession to one
Ujagar Singh when he was having a bath in the Canal, to his purchasing the
sword and to his delivering it at the police Station after he had dictated the
report. Both the Courts below rightly believed the evidence about the motive
and purchase of the sword by the appellant.
205 The learned Sessions Judge believed
Ujagar Singh and acted on the extra-judicial confession made by the appellant
to him. The High Court, however, did not rely on this extra-judicial
confession. It relied on certain statements made by the appellant in his report
dictated at the Police Station and considered those facts together with the
motive and the evidence about the purchase of the sword sufficient to confirm
the appellant's conviction and sentence.
The learned counsel for the appellant has
argued that the entire report dictated by the appellant was inadmissible in
evidence as its contents amounted to a confession of the offence by the
appellant made to a Police Officer and that the evidence relied upon by the
High Court was insufficient to establish that the appellant had murdered Sheo
Sahai. On the other hand, learned Counsel for the respondent urged that the
High Court was wrong in rejecting the statement of Ujagar Singh about the
appellant's extra-judicial confession and that the extra-judicial confession
together with the circumstances relied on by the High Court, fully make out the
prosecution case against the appellant. He also urges that such portions of the
report which did not amount to a direct admission of the appellant's striking
Sheo Sahai with a sword and thereby causing his death were admissible in
We do not consider it necessary to decide
whether any portion of the report dictated by the appellant at the Police
Station is admissible or not in evidence, as there is good independent evidence
with respect to the four matters mentioned in the report and relied on by the
High Court in considering the case against the appellant. These admissions of
the appellant are (i) that he purchased a cycle from the deceased;
(ii) that there was a quarrel in a play of
(iii) that he purchased a sword; and (iv)
that he deposited the sword at the Police Station.
206 Ajit Singh, P.W., 5 deposed about the
purchase of the cycle and about a dispute taking place between Sheo Sahai and
the appellant on account of the latter's demanding the return of Rs. 10/- which
had been paid towards the sale price as the balance of the sale price had not
been paid and the deal was cancelled by Sheo Sahai in accordance with the oral
contract. Ajit Singh bears no enmity with the appellant. In fact, none of the
prosecution witnesses is alleged to bear enmity with the appellant.
Paley Singh, P.W. 2, and Baij Nath P.W. 4,
depose about the dispute during the game of cards played on June 12, 1960.
Kehar Singh P.W.3. deposed about the selling
of a sword to the appellant on June 13, 1960. A receipt about the sale was
found on the person of the appellant when he was searched after his arrest.
The appellant's depositing the sword at the
Police Station is deposed by Madho Ram P.W. 12, and by Sri Kishan Singh,
Station Officer, Ekdil, (P.W. 16), in whose presence the appellant had dictated
It is therefore not necessary to rely on the
admissions of the appellant in the report with respect to these facts deposed
to by the various witnesses whose testimony has been rightly accepted.
We need also consider whether the facts that
the accused had a motive to harm Sheo Sahai and that he had purchased a sword a
day before the incident and deposited it stained with human blood at the Police
Station on the night of the murder are sufficient to establish that it must be
the appellant who committed the murder of Sheo Sahai or not, as we are of
opinion that the High Court erred in rejecting the statement of Ujagar Singh
about the appellant's confessing to him that he had murdered Sheo Sahai.
207 In this connection, the High Court simply
"A perusal of the statement of Ujagar
Singh would show that it is very likely that this may have happened. To us, it
seems that in the middle of June when the chari and sugar-cane crop would not
have been very high, it seems improbable that Ujagar Singh would have been
sleeping in his field or that he should have met the appellant in the manner
alleged. We do not feel sure of the extra judicial confession said to have been
made by the appellant to Ujagar Singh, and consequently we do not place any
reliance on his statement, though it has been relied upon by the court
below." With respect to the learned Judges, these observations are not
very consistent. If Ujagar Singh's statement made it very likely that what he
stated did happen, there could not have appeared any improbability in Ujagar
Singh's sleeping in his field and meeting the appellant in the manner alleged,
especially when the learned Judges believed, and there was evidence about it,
that the fields had chari and sugarcane crop at the time. The learned Judges
have not stated those considerations, if any, in addition to the improbability
of Ujagar Singh's presence in his field on account of the crops being not very
high, which made them doubt the appellant's confessing to Ujagar Singh. It may
be mentioned that Ujagar Singh was on the field, according to his statement,
for protecting the crop from the depradations of neel gais. They damage the
leaves of the plants and have no partiality for tall plants alone. In fact, the
smaller the plants, the easier it must be to graze.
The learned Sessions Judge has discussed the
criticism urged before him against the acceptance of the statement of Ujagar
Singh and considered 208 it, for reasons given, not to justify the rejection of
Ujagar Singh's statement. We agree with those reasons. There is no enmity
between Ujagar Singh and the appellant and therefore no good reasons existed
for Ujagar Singh to state falsely. Extra-judicial confessions are not usually
considered with favour but that does not mean that such a confession coming
from a person who has no reason to state falsely and to whom it is made in
circumstances which tend to support his statement, should not be believed.
The murder was committed in the month of
June. Both on account of the temperature and on account of the culprit's desire
to wash of blood marks on his person, the appellant's bathing in the Canal at
that hour of the night cannot be said to be improbable. It is not stated by
sub- Inspector Kishan Singh, nor it is alleged that the appellant had on his
person or on his clothes blood stains when he presented himself at the Police
Station. This tends to support Ujagar Singh's statement that the appellant had a
bath in the Canal at that hour. Of course, this consideration springs out of
the supposition that the appellant did commit the murder. The fact that he had
the sword which was stained with human blood, leads to such a supposition, even
if the mere possession of a sword so stained be not sufficient to establish
conclusively that the person who possessed it so shortly after the murder of a
person with whom he had enmity, had committed the murder.
The Canal runs beside Ujagar Singh's field.
Ujagar Singh was on the field for the purpose
of watching it against the neel gais trespassing and grazing the crop. It is
not therefore a matter of surprise that he wakes up and proceeds to the spot
from where the splashing sound which, is supposed to be due to the wading of
the neel gais, came. On reaching the Canal bank, he observes 209 the person
bathing and naturally asks him what.
led him to have a bath at that hour at night.
Taken by surprise, it is not unlikely that
the appellant should have made a statement that he had committed the murder of
Sheo Sahai and was, thereafter, having a bath. There is no reason to think that
the appellant would not make such a statement when the appellant himself
proceeds to the Police Station and hands over the blood stained sword. It is no
doubt unusual, as urged for the appellant, that a person who commits a murder
in pursuance of an enmity arising out of minor disputes, would be feeling so
justified in his conduct as to openly admit it to the first person he met and
to go to the Police Station and report about it. It is always difficult to find
reasons for a person's acting in a certain manner.
It may be that having blurted out the truth
to Ujagar Singh, when taken by surprise, the appellant thought the best thing
to be to proceed to the Police Station and report the matter there.
It is true that Ujagar Singh did not rush to
the village at once and convey the news of the murder of Sheo Sahai. The
learned Sessions Judge has considered the criticism against such a conduct and
has held that there were good reasons for Ujagar Singh's not leaving his field
whose crops he was watching against the neel gais. We agree with the view of
the learned Sessions Judge and do not consider Ujagar Singh's conduct of
continuing to remain on his field during the night to be so improbable as to
affect his veracity.
Ujagar Singh went to the village at about 5
a.m., and them told the people of what he had been told by the appellant. This
statement of his, is supported impliedly by Paley Singh, P.W. 2, who states
that the Sub-Inspector was not present when Ujagar Singh related to them the
fact which had taken place at night and by Bishram Singh, P.W.
13, who 210 deposed that Ujagar Singh stated
that Ram Singh was taking his bath at night in the Canal Distributory and had
said that he had come after committing the murder of Sheo Sahai and that the
appellant had then proceeded towards the police station.
We are therefore of opinion that Ujagar
Singh's statement about the appellant's confessing to him that he had murdered
Sheo Sahai has been erroneously rejected by the High Court. The extra- judicial
confession of the appellant to Ujagar Singh finds ample support from the facts
that the appellant did purchase a sword a day before, that very sword was found
to be stained with human blood shortly after the murder and that sword was
handed over by the appellant himself to the Police Officer at the Police
The evidence of the appellant's having enmity
with Sheo Sahai, the appellant's conduct in purchasing a sword and delivering
it stained with human blood to the Police and the appellant's confession to
Ujagar Singh, fully establish that the appellant did commit the murder of Sheo
We are therefore of opinion that he has been
rightly convicted of the offence under s. 302, I.P.C., and has been awarded the
We therefore dismiss the appeal.